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“Vietnam Caving/ Home Stay. Well planned. Perfectly delivered.”
Review of Active Travel Asia

Active Travel Asia
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Attraction details
Owner description: ActiveTravel Asia (ATA) offers a wide selection of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar Adventure and Responsible tours, including hiking and trekking, biking, motorcycling, overland touring and family travel packages.The tour packages and custom itineraries will take travelers through exotic destinations to really experience the culture, history and nature of Asia. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy an unforgettable active vacation.
Reviewed 25 June 2013

I worked online with Miss Candy at ActiveTravelAsia to create a 3 day tour in the middle of our month long trip to Laos and Vietnam in January, 2013. From my first contact to managing changes occurring during the last moments of our tour, Miss Candy was quick, competent, professional and truly intent on making us happy. She did. Our ATA Vietnam caving/home stay tour was absolutely fabulous.
My husband and I were scheduled to do the Son Doong cave tour. However, the day before we were scheduled to go on the jungle trek to the cave, the rivers flooded, became impassible and our planned trip was washed away. Not a problem! Within a couple of hours, Miss Candy had 3 new alternative plans for us - one including a refund which I am so glad we did not choose.
We chose the trip that included a driver, English speaking guide, river boat trip, visit to En Cave, a 2-night Chap Lay homestay and a 7 kilometer hike into Paradise Cave, the longest dry cave in the world.
ABOUT MISS CANDY - Use her to plan your trip. Trust her. ABOUT ATA - Clearly a very well-connected company, just what you want when unexpected events occur. Trust them. It will work out.
ABOUT THE CHAP LAY HOMESTAY - We stayed in a guest house behind our host's home in the middle of a field outside a small Vietnamese village. We had a private toilet and shower, no hot water, slightly uncomfortable in January but would not be a problem at any other time of the year. The hostess and daughter-in-law cooked our meals (8-10 delicious food choices) over an open fire in a thatched roof kitchen and they let me watch and help. Even though we didn't speak the same language, we 3 women were still able to communicate and share the important details of our lives.
The men, through the interpreter, sat on the porch and talked. During the meals, when we were all together, our hosts were warm, open and gracious enough to answer all of our questions.
The Chap Lay setting was beautiful and peaceful. Watching the children and farmers and water buffalo at work was remarkable.
ABOUT PARADISE CAVE - The hiking group included my husband and I, one couple from Japan, our English speaking guide and 2 porters. The 9am to 3pm trek took us through tiny spaces to gigantic cathedral-sized caverns. Using only headlamps, I think we saw and touched every type of cave formation possible. Words are inadequate to describe the awesome beauty of this cave tour. It was a stunning experience, one that I will never, ever forget.
ABOUT THE DRIVER AND GUIDE - They were at our service. If we said, "go over there", they went over there. If we said, "we would rather do this than do that", we did. Our wishes took priority over the ATA schedule, which is just how a private tour should be. Our interpreter was great. During conversations with others, his personality was completely in the background. But when asked for his thoughts and while explaining the history, he was charming and knowledgeable.
SUMMARY - My husband and I dislike group tours and wouldn't do one, but we also are well-travelled enough to know when to hire the experts who can make our trip a 5-Star event. Active Travel Asia were the experts we needed in Vietnam. I would highly recommend them.

2  Thank Pretty-Rough-Ranch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
activetravelasia, Travel Consultant at Active Travel Asia, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2013

Dear Susan O’Brien, we are happy to get your reviews when your trip in Vietnam finished long time. We would like to express our sincere thank for value our services and your excellent recommendation. We always try our best to give you and all of our clients the best service because your satisfaction is our success and biggest regard as well.

Hopefully, We will have more opportunity to serve you in next coming holiday to Indochina and Vietnam.

Ms. Candy

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"mt fansipan"
in 3 reviews
"mekong delta"
in 8 reviews
"excellent planning"
in 2 reviews
"private tour"
in 7 reviews
"water buffalo"
in 3 reviews
"ha long bay"
in 7 reviews
"motorbike tour"
in 4 reviews
"wealth of information"
in 2 reviews
"halong bay"
in 11 reviews
"every step of the way"
in 2 reviews
"excellent english"
in 2 reviews
"siem reap"
in 3 reviews
"angkor wat"
in 2 reviews
"in ho chi minh city"
in 2 reviews
"local guide"
in 2 reviews
"fantastic experience"
in 2 reviews
"ata"
in 15 reviews
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44 - 48 of 63 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2013

After watching the National Geographic documentary about Vietnam's largest cave, Son Doong Cave (Hang Sơn Đoòng), I start looking for any travel agent who could arrange a tour to (and inside) the cave. Getting in touch with Ms. Candy from ActiveTravel Asia (ATA) was my luck. She takes care of my questions, problems and booking since last August (2012). From the first inquiry, until the tour everything was handled in a very professional manner and to my fullest satisfaction.

Our tour guide Mr. Thang call and visit us one day before, we start the Son Doong Cave Discovery Tour, at our hotel to give us some last minute instructions and answer our questions. In the next morning at 8 p.m. he and a driver pick us up at the hotel and we drive a couple of kilometres to a small village close to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, where we pick up our team of porters and an official from the National Park. Once we reached the starting point we prepared our stuff and ourselves for a 10 km hike through the jungle of Phong Nha-Ke Bang, which was quite comfortable and in the same time stunning. Reaching Hang En Cave, our crew set up the tent and make us feel like home.

In the next day we make our way to Son Doong Cave (approximately 3 km, one way) together with Mr. Thang, Mr. Ho-Khanh and two supporters. Not only the way to the cave even to discover the inside of Hang Son Doong was a unique and unforgettable experience for my wife and me, which we are still talking about. After 7-8 hours we arrived back at the camp, where our crew prepared dinner during our swim at a close by river.

Around 9 a.m. we start our hike back to the meeting point where our driver pick us up. Everything was perfectly time and we never had the feeling that anything run out of control.

Thanks ActiveTravel Asia (especially Ms. Candy) to make this happen and a big thank you for the great team around Mr. Thang and Mr. Ho-Khanh

4  Thank bthoenissen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
activetravelasia, Ms. Candy - Travel Consultant at Active Travel Asia, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2013

Hi Boris,

Thank you for your review and pictures on TripAdvisor about Son Doong cave during Apr 1-4, 2013.

We are very appreciate for your all recommendation, your satisfaction is the biggest reward, not only for me but also for all our colleagues in ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA. Moreover, this is really a highly motivation for me and our team, who makes all effort to provide better services day after day.

Again, thank you so much for your photos, they are so nice and make me feel that we have traveled with you in Son Doong cave. Now, we are so excited to wait for your video footage, all of them are very helpful to enrich our documents and clients’ album. Hope that we will meet you again in the next trip to Vietnam and Indochina in the coming time.

Ms. Candy - ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA

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Reviewed 9 January 2013

Our agent Rose was v helpful and efficient. However, our city tour in old quarter was disappointing as we had no explanation and just went round on the bicycles. More information was required on rest to eat, directions from hotel and key places of interest. Cruise v nice but options for food for Moslems must be considered, too much pork. Drinks over priced. Was a good trip overall.
Lanvien hotel Very nice and best breakfast. Halong bay simply breat taking.
Vietnamese people friendly. A good guide essential

1  Thank Anisha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
activetravelasia, Owner at Active Travel Asia, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2013

Dear Anisha,

Thank you for your good reviews for our tourguide, hotel in Hanoi and detail city tour information. As you know the Old Quater street is very narow and crowed so all cyclo tours are designed for viewing the daily life and architecture around Old Quarter. Our tourguide only gave you the detail information before your trip in Old Quarter.

However, We think highly your comments and improve our trip in Old Quater in recent time as well as checking all food menu in cruises on Halong bay as we always note especially about food if you and other customers order special one in Halong Bay.

Again, We appreciate your review and it helps us make our services better and customers get more qualitied services in coming time.

Thanks & regards,

CEO - Bobby Nguyen

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Reviewed 21 October 2012

We are very delighted with our Vietnam trip, and particularly with the ATA Halong Bay kayaking tour.The services on junk’s board were very good, and the kayaking tour introduced us to amazing and very quiet landscapes, with an excellent tour guide listening to us. We would like to come back if we have the opportunity.

Thank maryalice c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
activetravelasia, Public Relations Manager at Active Travel Asia, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2013

Hi Maryalice c,

Thank you for your review. We are very happy to know that you have a great trip in Vietnam, especially kayaking in Halong bay. We keep your contact and inform you when we have new kayaking route in Halong Bay and other adventure trips.

We hope that we will continue to suggest you new idea trip and serve you in your next holiday in Vietnam and Indochina.

Tony Tran - Customers Care Manager

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Reviewed 19 October 2012

I booked this over over the internet and was not sure what to expect. The trip far outweighed my expectations. We mountain biked, kayaked in Halong Bay and trekked. Our guide was fantastic,and couldn't be more helpful as were all the support staff. The Mountain bikes were Trek and were good quality and well maintained. The scenery was spectular. Slightly disappointed by Ho Chi Minh trail which although passes though beautiful scenery it is now a highway. A support vehicle followed us and the driver was never far away, ready with drinks and snacks. The Homestays were basic but in great settings and an experience. We had a private Junk in Halong Bay. The accommodation and food was amazing. The only negative point was all the rubbish in the water. Saying that it was still a beautiful place and well worth a visit. The hotel in Catba wasn't great - broken shower, poor breakfast. However, all in all would go again to Vietanm again and would definitely use Active Travel Asia.

Thank JuneHavard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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